Acquired: Bred cat myself
Posted Jun 02, 2015
Cheetahbear was a domestic shorthair tuxedo with match 'cufflinks' on his front paws. From a kitten on he was far more interested in being with humans than other cats though he showed no aggression towards them. He'd clawclimb his way up your leg and lodge himself on your shoulder at every opportunity. A habit that became somewhat cumbersome as he grew to his full weight.
He was my buddy, always there for a cuddle when the day had been somewhat nasty. As the kids grew up and moved out he'd welcome them home by launching himself at them when they came in, snuggling immediately into their arms and rubbing his chin and cheeks against theirs. We all knew we belonged to Cheetah as he rubbed his scent on us as much as he was allowed.
I can't count the number of times visitors to our home remarked that they didn't really like cats but if he ever needed a home he'd be welcome in theirs.
He was a hearty fellow, only visiting the vet for routine check ups and neutering. As he aged he preferred the comfort of my bed rather than being around us quite as much. At the time of his death in a fire that consumed our home, he was 16 years old. I have to believe he succumbed to the smoke, and simply fell deeper asleep.
Keeping a cat is always an adventure. They require thorough dental care so accustom them to that at an as early an age as possible. Even though cats groom themselves they go through cycles of coat loss and brushing with a soft brush is a great way to bond and helps to keep the proverbial cat hair on everything situation to a minimum. Cats come with all sorts of personalities and I've always found that letting them be who they are is usually the best way to go. This doesn't mean they should rule the house. They think they do, but it's advisable to maintain some ground rules from the get go. A spray bottle with a good stream can be an effective way to discourage them from going up onto shelves or cupboards if you'd rather they didn't. Having a cat tree gives them the advantage of height and this helps if there are other animals in the home or even small children.
Cheetahbear's presence is still very much missed and after a rotten day I really miss him curling up against my back, gently kneading and purring to sooth away the day.